Can a Mistake on a Gun Application Lead to Criminal Charges?
While there is a right to bear arms under the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the ability to do so for some types of weapons is still heavily regulated. To own a handgun, for example, certain legal requirements must be met under local and state laws. If you make a mistake on a gun application, you might need a gun crimes lawyer to protect you from the serious consequences that can flow from a weapons-related conviction.
A simple, unintentional error related to your gun purchase might be enough to get you in trouble. There are also other gun regulations that you could run afoul of without any intent to do so. If that happens to you, you’ll need the experienced gun crimes lawyers at Randall & Stump, PLLC. Even a misdemeanor weapons-related conviction could result in fines and jail time. In addition, you may suffer damage to your reputation, your job, or your custody rights. Call our Charlotte criminal defense lawyers today at (980) 237-4579 for a free, confidential consultation.
Handgun Purchase Process
To buy a handgun in Charlotte, you must be at least 21 years old and must have a concealed carry permit or a pistol purchase permit. These permits are acquired from your local sheriff’s office by filling out an application and undergoing a background check. Depending on the county, there may be additional requirements. Typically, there is also a small fee.
If you make a mistake on the application, your permit may be denied. Should that mistake suggest to law enforcement that you were attempting to get a permit under false premises, or that you lied on the application, you might be subject to criminal charges of some kind. That’s a serious matter and you will want to consult our gun crimes attorneys right away. Besides avoiding the potential criminal conviction, you also don’t want to be denied your right to bear arms due to an error.
Gun-related Mistakes Post-Application
Once you obtain a permit and purchase a handgun, it is important to follow the various laws that regulate their possession and transport. Even an unintentional error, including not knowing the law, can result in a gun charge.
Some common mistakes that gun owners make is carrying the weapon concealed when they don’t have a permit. If you’ve legally purchased a gun, state law allows you to carry it openly – unless in areas exempt from open carry, including private businesses that prohibit guns. If you don’t have a concealed carry permit and absentmindedly place your pistol in a glove box and in a traffic stop the gun is discovered, you could be charged with a violation of the law.
All too often, gun owners have forgotten a weapon in a briefcase or bag, and it is discovered at an airport security checkpoint. Possession of a weapon at the airport violates a Charlotte city ordinance and can result in thousands of dollars in civil fines levied by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
Keep in mind as well, that if you are convicted of a crime after you lawfully bought a firearm, the later conviction may negate your ability to legally possess a gun. For example, convictions related to domestic violence or protective order, or a felony conviction, will result in your inability to lawfully own or possess a gun. Should you be caught with one, you will need our criminal defense attorneys.
Serious Consequences of Gun-related Convictions
In addition to possible incarceration and fines, a gun-related conviction can touch every part of your life. You could lose your job or have trouble finding one because of your record. In addition, it could impact any professional licensing, an application for higher education, or your custody arrangements. This is true even if the charge flowed from an innocent mistake on your part. If you find yourself facing a weapons charge, contact Randall & Stump, PLLC to discuss your case. Call (980) 237-4579 today for a free, confidential consultation.